I feel that, in clinical psychology, we often pay lip service to the idea that cultural factors influence mental illness, but we sometimes forget this in practice. This article reminded me of this once again. In it, a psychiatrist named Samah Jabr suggested that PTSD statistics from Palestine are, at best, misleading, due to the… Continue reading The Western Concept of PTSD
First of all, my apologies to anyone scandalized by my punchy, click-baity title. Here's a more graceful way of saying it, from St. Seraphim of Sarov: "Silence is the cross on which we must crucify our egos." Every now and then, when I talk to pastors of various faiths, I get questions about counseling and… Continue reading Unsolicited Advice for Pastors: How to Shut Up
I run a mindfulness group as part of my counseling work, and I've been involved in some way in mindfulness research since 2008. It took some time for the concept to click with me. I knew about atypical mental states from religious studies, and assumed that mindfulness was something like hypnosis or a trance of… Continue reading Mindfulness for Disappointed Musicians
You may have seen a news article about a recent study by the World Bank that found, among other things, that Eastern Orthodox Christians, as opposed to Protestants and Roman Catholics, tend to report lower levels of happiness and life satisfaction. The authors of that study point to differences in theology, history, and beliefs about… Continue reading On Religion and Happiness: Does Orthodoxy Make You Sad?
I've done psychology work at universities, in various capacities, for four years now, and I'm beginning to pick up on general themes that are common to many university-age students. There's nothing that makes me feel like an out-of-touch old man, yelling at clouds, like descriptions of modern dating. When I was playing "the game" of… Continue reading “Ghosting” as Existential Injury
When people meet a famous musician, they often say, "Your music helped me through a really difficult time in my life." I wonder about what the function of that sentence really is and what it means. I think it's a punchy and often true thing for a person to say, and also it's an expression… Continue reading The Hold Steady was there when I didn’t know what to do.
The following is a video I made to prepare a presentation at a Middle Eastern Studies Association conference in 2016. It was based on research I had been conducting up to that point.